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The third novel in the New York Timesbestselling series about an advertising executive who loses everything and embarks on a walk across America: "definitely a journey worth taking" ( Booklist). Reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan Christoffersen, a once-successful advertising executive, left behind everything he knew and set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. Carrying only a backpack, he is walking from Seattle to Key West, the farthest destination on his map. Now almost halfway through his trek, it's the people he meets along the way who give the journey its true meaning: a mysterious woman who follows Alan's walk for close to a hundred miles, the ghost hunter searching graveyards for his wife, and the elderly Polish man who gives Alan a ride and shares a story that Alan will never forget. Full of hard-won wisdom and truth, The Road to Graceis a compelling and inspiring novel about hope, healing, grace, and the meaning of life.
The sun will rise again. The only uncertainty is whether or not we will rise to greet it.Alan Christoffersen’s diary
Several months after I was mugged, stabbed, and left unconscious along the shoulder of Washington’s Highway 2, a friend asked me what being stabbed felt like. I told her it hurt.
Really, how do you describe pain? Sometimes doctors ask us to rate our pain on a scale from one to ten, as if that number had some reliable meaning. In my opinion there needs to be a more objective rating system, something comparative; like, would you trade what you’re feeling for a root canal or maybe half a childbirth?
And with what would we compare emotional pain—physical pain? Arguably, emotional pain is the greater of the two evils. Sometimes people will inflict physical pain on themselves to dull their emotional anguish. I understand. If I had the choice between being stabbed or losing my wife, McKale, again, the knife has the advantage—because if the knife kills me, I stop hurting. If it doesn’t kill me, the wound will heal. Either way the pain stops. But no matter what I do, my McKale is never coming back. And I can’t imagine that the pain in my heart will ever go away.
Still, there is hope—not to forget McKale, nor even to understand why I had to lose her—but to accept that I did and somehow go on. As a friend recently said to me, no matter what I do, McKale will always be a part of me. The question is, what part—a spring of gratitude, or a fountain of bitterness? Someday I’ll have to decide. Someday the sun will rise again. The only uncertainty is whether or not I will rise to greet it.
In the meantime, what I hope for most ishope. Walking helps. I wish I were walking again right now. I think I’d rather be anywhere right now than where I am.